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Old 03-25-2012, 12:00 PM   #1
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Default Lost Half My Yeast

Last night when I went to pitch my yeast there was a problem. I guess I left it on the counter to long and shook it too hard. Any way, when I opened the vial it exploded. I lost some of my yeast and I can't really say how much.

Should I add another vial, or leave it alone?

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Old 03-25-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
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I won't get into how you should have pitched it into a starter, and how you should be making a starter for any liquid yeast in a beer over 1.030.

And if you were making a starter loosing half of the yeast would have mattered less, because the purpose of a starter is to grow enough yeast to really do the job.

But as to the "exploding" tube issue, it happens to all of us at least once. That's because the yeasties have been farting co2 while they hung out in the tube.

A couple of tips for handling that.

1) No matter what size the mouth of the vessel is that you use to make a starter use a larger funnel (like the ones you can get from your lhbs) sanitize it and holding the stopper end pointing downward "inside" the funnel, open slowly, that way as it gushes it mostly sprays into the funnel.

2) Have starsan or whatever no rinse sanitizer in a spray bottle, and spray the tube as well as your hands thoroughly with sanitizer, that way if it gushes onto your hands and falls you've been sanitized.

3) Open slowly....twist it only slowly enough to crack the "ratchet" ring on the tube, then stop a second to let some of the co2 woosh out, then open the tube.

If you have another vial, then yeah you could pitch it. But in the future start making starters.

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Old 03-25-2012, 12:19 PM   #3
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I always gradually crack the tube open to release some CO2. Almost everytime I shake the vial, I release some more. By the time I pitch into the starter, no explosions, no surprises!

Yeah - What Revvy said!

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:06 AM   #4
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My plan was to brew a balanced beer (equally malty and hoppy), but I fear that it is much more malty than I planned. Will adding another vial of yeast help to reduce the malt character? Will dry hopping help reduce the malt character? Am I stuck with a malty beer?

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:40 AM   #5
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Malty is more a function of the ratio of malt to hops in your recipe. Note that most beers taste sweet and/or grainy when you first put them into your fermenter... and often taste nasty for at least some period after that.

Until the beer is carbed up in bottles/kegged, you really don't know what is going on with it. Don't try to fix it until you have a real idea of what might be wrong.

And yeah, every single vial you ever open will spew like that if the yeast is good. Treat it like you would treat a shaken soda bottle - slowly twist off, reclose, repeat... and open above a big funnel!

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Old 03-26-2012, 12:43 PM   #6
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My plan is to pick up a vial of yeast today and add it to the primary, but 36 hours after the initial yeast addition, I have a very vigorous fermentation going on.

Should I:
(A) pitch another vial of yeast anyway; or
(B) let it go until the fermentation slows down and then check the gravity?

Thanks for your input.

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Old 03-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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I am sure the yeast has propogated depending on the conditions. If you shook the carboy well prior to pitching, had some nutrients in there for it to use to grow (not all extract), then it should be fine. But, if you are making a very large beer with high initial gravity (1.060ish), then I would throw the other yeast pack in there now to avoid stressing out what is already there, regardless of whether there is a lot of activity or not.

My $0.02

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Old 03-26-2012, 01:23 PM   #8
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I'd personally go with (B), but that's just me.

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:35 PM   #9
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After 3 days of vigorous fermenting, the process has slowed down (no more bubbling from the S-shaped air lock and the water level has returned to an equal balance on both sides of the S-curve).
I took a hydrometer reading, at least I tried to. The beer is beer is super cloudy suspension of dissolved hop pellets and some type of white chunky substance. And it is loaded with this stuff. Also, there is a head at the top of the hydrometer tube that prevents me from taking a reading. As near as I can tell, the SG has dropped from 1.070 to 1.026.

Is this soup-like appearance normal?
Will all that stuff fall out of suspension and settle to the bottom of the fermenter after 2-3 weeks?
My biggest fear is that there is a bacterial infection. Am I being a worry wart Noob?

If it will help, I can post a pic tonight after I get home.

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Old 03-28-2012, 05:43 PM   #10
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Default White Labs FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by scurry64 View Post
Last night when I went to pitch my yeast there was a problem. I guess I left it on the counter to long and shook it too hard. Any way, when I opened the vial it exploded. I lost some of my yeast and I can't really say how much.

Should I add another vial, or leave it alone?
Recommends you crack open the vial's lid
just after removing from the refrigerator.
(While still cold)

Snug it back up and periodically re-crack
it open several times while it's warming to
pitching temperature.
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